hold breath

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.

hold one's breath

1. Lit. to stop breathing for a short period, on purpose. Do you hold your breath when you dive into the water? I can't hold my breath for very long.
2. Fig. to wait or delay until something special happens. (Usually in the negative. See also Don't hold your breath.) I expect the mail to be delivered soon, but I'm not holding my breath. It's often late.
See also: breath, hold

hold your breath

to wait for something I've been just holding my breath and hoping they'll call me back for an interview.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of hold your breath (to stop breathing)
See also: breath, hold